Taal Volcano, a popular tourist destination in the Philippines, is home to an impoverished community and hundreds of working horses who are forced to carry tourists up and down the steep trail to the top. The majority of the animals are malnourished and made to stand and walk in the scorching sun for hours on end without access to fresh water. Most don’t even have names—only numbers that are used by the horsemen associations to identify them for trips up the volcano.
This month, PETA Asia staffers, along with a team of volunteer veterinarians from International Veterinary Outreach (IVO) and a group of veterinary medicine students from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, spent an intense week providing hundreds of horses with hoof care, teeth floating, vaccinations, deworming, ecto-parasite control, treatment for injuries, and more.
The vet students also conducted education seminars covering a variety of horse health issues, such as hoof care and the importance of getting tetanus vaccine boosters.
The clinic handed out hoof picks, nylon halters to replace chains, lead ropes, brushes, and saddle pads for free. This clinic is the third that PETA Asia and IVO have teamed up for and marks the seventh time that PETA Asia has worked with veterinarians to provide the island’s horses with much-needed care.
While the lives of these horses will remain difficult—and neglect is rampant—meeting their most basic health-care needs goes a long way toward reducing their suffering.
If you’d like to help the horses on Taal Volcano, please make a donation today.